UAE: How smart technologies can detect crimes before they happen

AI system also makes roads safer by reducing response time in reaching accident spots or emergencies



File photo
File photo
by

Ismail Sebugwaawo

Published: Tue 23 Nov 2021, 6:39 PM

Last updated: Wed 24 Nov 2021, 9:20 AM

The use of smart technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) has helped significantly reduce crimes in Abu Dhabi and made the roads safer due to swift response to emergencies, a top police official has said.

Speaking to Khaleej Times on the sidelines of the Abu Dhabi Smart Cities Summit on Tuesday, Major Eng. Ahmed Surour Al Shamsi, head of Safe City Department at Abu Dhabi Police said technology helps detect crimes before they happen, which has led to a significant improvement in safety and security. He said Abu Dhabi Police had introduced the safe city project using AI more than three years ago and it has helped in making the city safer.

“We have an operation room which is powered by Artificial Intelligence (AI). We integrated all the sensors and cameras around the city that covers about 85 per cent of the infrastructure with AI. We put together all the information gathered by the system to detect and control crimes and activities threatening the safety of residents,” Al Shamsi said.

“We developed the system that foretells and can give us prediction of the crimes, the age group and nationalities involved in the crimes, etc. Our patrol cars always ply in areas that are dangerous. The smart systems give officers data on areas where they have detected a crime, how to reach the place, and how to handle the situation.”

He added: “The smart system is fast and very effective in detecting and monitoring criminals. In the past, it took months to gather information. But now we can get all the data we need in a short period of time.”

Abu Dhabi city has been ranked the safest city in the world for four consecutive years.

>> How the AI system works

Al Shamsi said patrol vehicles are distributed based on analysis of historical data. “Our system recommends appropriate locations for deploying patrol vehicles based on vulnerability and history of crime occurrence. Once the police vehicle is in the place, criminals stop engaging in bad activities,” he said.

Thousands of cameras distributed across the city provide tonnes of data each day through the AI system integrated with the cameras, which help police track suspicious activity.

Major Eng. Ahmed Surour Al Shamsi, head of Safe City Department at Abu Dhabi Police
Major Eng. Ahmed Surour Al Shamsi, head of Safe City Department at Abu Dhabi Police

>> AI helps in making roads safer

According to the officer, the AI system has also helped make roads safer by reducing response time in reaching accident spots or emergencies. The use of technology also helps control traffic violations and road deaths, he said. “We have more than 250,000 vehicles in Abu Dhabi and we have to ensure that they are all insured and inspected. This can only be done through data provided by the smart system,” Al Shamsi said at the summit.

The official noted that technology was also helping the force to analyse traffic violations and if there’s a dangerous driver on the road, the operation rooms immediately sends out a patrol vehicle to corner the driver.

He revealed that there are five smart gates across the city that communicate with each other, and provide alerts to drivers on fog, rain, accidents or traffic congestion.

The smart system can also detect errant drivers, including those speeding, using mobile phones and other violations.

ismail@khaleejtimes.com


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